Dallas, Texas
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Code Compliance Services
Consumer Health Division  |  Buying a Food Facility

Buying a Restaurant? Visit the Sustainable Development and Construction Department first!

If you are planning to buy a pre-existing food establishment, it is best to contact Sustainable Development and Construction before purchase. There may be wall, floor finishes, and equipment that do not meet current health codes and will have to be changed in order to comply. By calling between 8 am and 9 am and scheduling an appointment with a Plan Review Sanitarian at the proposed establishment, you will know beforehand what will be required in order to operate the establishment.

A plan review will be required for new or extensive remodeled establishments. Prior knowledge of what will be required is an asset to the new restaurant owner. Sustainable Development and Construction currently offers pre-inspections for a $200 fee. For this service a Plan Review Sanitarian will visit the proposed establishment and provide a tailored list specific to that establishment. Additional changes may be required before final permitting of the establishment.

An example of a problem commonly encountered during a change of ownership inspection is wall finish. All wall finishes must be smooth, rigid, easily cleanable and light in color. Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) and ceramic tiles are approved wall finishes to a height of eight feet in the kitchen and four feet in the restrooms. Lighting is also a common problem in food establishments. The lighting intensity must be at least 50-foot candles at a surface where an employee is preparing food.

Commercial grade equipment is required. Domestic equipment is prohibited. Hand wash sinks are required every 25 linear feet without any obstruction in the kitchen, utensil wash, and food preparation area. A door is considered an obstruction in regards to accessibility to hand wash sinks. A three-compartment sink and at least one utility sink are required in the food establishment. Utility sinks may not double as hand wash sinks.

A pre-inspection is a proactive approach to identifying preexisting and potential structural defects that may prevent unexpected expenses in the end.

Plans & Permitting Site Evaluation and Contacts ( PDF)
Guidelines for New Construction or Existing and Remodel Establishments (PDF)

A Grease Interceptor is required for all new and existing food service establishments.
Grease Interceptor Information (PDF)


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